missed connections, pakistan edition

For my Advanced Creative Writing class, we had an assignment to find an ad on Craigslist and write a short around whatever inspired us. I immediately went to the “Missed Connections” section for inspiration and got very bored very quickly with the repetitive “I saw you on the __ Train. You’re beautiful. YOU know I’m talking about you.”

So I decided to go back to Craigslist’s main homepage and start over. I wanted to see what other parts of the world had to offer. Low and behold, I end up in Pakistan’s main page and they too have a “Missed Connections” section.

Here are some of the remarks:

“i will be travailing to Pakistan Karachi I am trying to find love of my life if you are there please let me know”

“Sweet simple wife is required for ever”

“i am in search of a beautiful, honest, and sincere wife”

“I can sponsor my wife’s family in Canada too. If you have a daughter/sister, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

“in search of materially well-established lady”

“Any kind-hearted,lenient,sacificing lady willing to adopt me as husband”

“Independent (by Pakistani definition)
Have some brains too…:)”

Well, now I know where to send all my single, kind-hearted, materially well-established, ‘independent,’ Pakistani female friends who are seeking husbands.

In any case, I used this opportunity to experiment and I wrote in a script style as opposed writing in prose. I think this was a great way to help me work with dialogue since that is an area of weakness for me.

Searching for A Wife

ZUBAIDA
I hope you like the tea. My daughter made it herself. Here, have some more cookies.

RISHTA AUNTY
Oh, what a lovely daughter. May Allah grant everyone a daughter like yours. How old is she?

ZUBAIDA
She’s still so young. You know, she did her PhD so she is a doctor. She’s only 29. She needs to get settled in her new job. I invited you to speak about my son, the older one, Zaheer. He needs to get married first. Do you have anyone in mind?

RISHTA AUNTY
There are so many single girls and guys that I know of. They are all great. What is the most important thing for you?

ZUBAIDA
She has to have a college degree. I don’t want my son to marry an uneducated woman. You know, like Shaista married her son to a girl who finished high school and that is it! What a shame. No, my bahu needs to have a college degree. But she shouldn’t worry about working after marriage. Zaheer, mashallah, you know, has a well-paying job. She needs to know her place as the bahu of this house.

RISHTA AUNTY
Haan, this sounds right. I was already thinking of someone for Zah––

ZUBAIDA
Kaun? Who?

RISHTA AUNTY
You know her, I think. Aleena, Sameera’s daughter. She––

ZUBAIDA
Arey! Her?! She’s so old. Twenty-six and still single? Bichari. No, no, I want someone who is young and will give me lots of grand-children. Besides, she’s too much into fashion. I mean, women need to look after themselves so their husbands don’t have to go find other wives. Not like that daughter of that woman….oh, what’s her name?…Don’t worry, it will come to me. She doesn’t do one thing! No eyebrows, no nothing! Who does she think will marry her?

RISHTA AUNTY
Laiken, look at it this way, Zubaida, you have a daughter yourself who is single. I can set her up  without a problem. My own son is looking for a wife, you know.

ZUBAIDA
Sarah has no shortage of proposals, Rasheeda. She just wants to focus on getting a job right now. I want my daughter to be independent; not reliant on her husband for money. You remember Reema who got married and her husband left her? Poor soul. I don’t know what she did to make her husband run away, but at least she had money to take care of herself….And she was pregnant! Who is going to marry her now?

RISHTA AUNTY
Listen, Zubaida, Zaheer is old too. He’s 34 and single. Why doesn’t Zaheer marry Reema? She’s a good––

ZUBAIDA
Kya?! You want my son who has never been married to marry a woman who has already been married? Are you insane? What nonsense! I invited you to list a few girls I can show Zaheer so he will stop obsessing over some girl at work. He says he’s in love, like these kids know anything about pyar. First comes shaadi then comes pyar.

RISHTA AUNTY
Who is this girl?

ZUBAIDA
Some Pakistani girl at work. Hmph, I know those types of women. Soon my own son will be out of my own house and off living with her.

RISHTA AUNTY
Suno, I have to go to Ghazala’s house. Maybe we can meet next week to continue discussing Zaheer and maybe Sarah, too. You know it is important we find her a good husband.

ZUBAIDA
Zaroor, but listen, I’m only going to pay you when you find my son a decent Pakistani girl. Then we will talk about Sarah.

 

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